Strengthening Health

We work to strengthen public health systems and improve health care coverage, access, and affordability.

A pop-up COVID-19 vaccination clinic is seen in California. (Getty/Al Seib/Los Angeles Times)

What We're Doing

Increasing vaccination rates to end the pandemic

Vaccination is key to ending the COVID-19 pandemic and avoiding preventable illness, death, and economic loss. We promote equitable vaccine policy and leveraging governmental and employers’ power to promote vaccination and pandemic recovery.

 

Strengthening public health infrastructure

The COVID-19 pandemic has further exposed inequities and existing weaknesses in the United States’ public health infrastructure. We’re focused on improving health equity by investing in public health, addressing social and economic factors that affect health, and preparing for future health threats.

 

Improving access to affordable health coverage

We’re dedicated to bolstering affordable, high-quality health coverage options. By building on the Affordable Care Act, closing the Medicaid coverage gap, and innovating progressive solutions, we envision a world in which everyone can access care.

 

Lowering health care prices and consumer costs

Health care affordability is a top consumer concern, and prices for health care and prescription drugs are inaccessibly high for many. One of our key priorities is improving America’s health by lowering costs to ensure all people can afford to manage their health.

 

Center for American Progress

Turning Bold Ideas Into Effective Policies

Celebrate with us

By the Numbers

1.9

Life expectancy fell by 1.9 years in the pandemic—8.5 times more than peer countries.

Woolf, “Effect of the covid-19 pandemic in 2020 on life expectancy across populations” (2021).

2x

The U.S. spends 2 times more as peer countries on health, with 8% lower life expectancy.

CAP, “The Declining Health of Americans” (2021).

7,000

Closing the Medicaid coverage gap would save 7,000 lives per year.

CAP, “Closing the Medicaid Coverage Gap Would Save 7,000 Lives Each Year” (2021).

2.8x

COVID hospitalized Black and Hispanic people at a rate 2.8 times higher than white people.

CDC, “Risk for COVID-19 Infection, Hospitalization, and Death by Race/Ethnicity” (2021).

Recent Work

Latest

Compact View

Event Recap: Affordability Beyond Premiums Article
Registered nurses sit at their desks while working at a medical center.

Event Recap: Affordability Beyond Premiums

The first session in the Center for American Progress’ state health care affordability series highlighted policies in New Mexico, California, and New Jersey to lower out-of-pocket costs for marketplace enrollees.

Natasha Murphy

2024 Affordable Care Act Marketplace Plan Selections by Congressional District Interactive
A staff nurse checks a patient at a hospital.

2024 Affordable Care Act Marketplace Plan Selections by Congressional District

A new CAP interactive explores the proportion of nonelderly people who made federally facilitated marketplace plan selections during the 2024 open enrollment period by congressional district. Without congressional action, consumers will lose the enhanced financial assistance that supported record levels of enrollment.

Nicole Rapfogel

Abortion Access Mapped by Congressional District Article

Abortion Access Mapped by Congressional District

Who is the typical woman of reproductive age in each congressional district? What is her income? What is her demographic profile? Does she live in poverty? How far must she travel to get an abortion? A new Center for American Progress analysis answers these questions and more for the districts of the 118th Congress (January 2023–January 2025).

Sara Estep

CAP Changemakers: The Intersectionality of Black Maternal Health Care and Abortion Access Video

CAP Changemakers: The Intersectionality of Black Maternal Health Care and Abortion Access

This conversation with Sabrina Talukder and Dr. Jamila K. Taylor highlights the vital intersection of Black maternal health care and abortion access, advocating for equitable policies and dignified care for marginalized communities.

5 Connections Between Attacks on Abortion Care and Transgender Medical Care in Idaho Court Cases Article
Photo shows a group of people demonstrating in front of the Supreme Court building. One sign reads

5 Connections Between Attacks on Abortion Care and Transgender Medical Care in Idaho Court Cases

Two court cases originating in Idaho—Idaho v. United States and Poe v. Labrador—reveal five connections between attacks on abortion care and transgender medical care and highlight how the politicization of the judiciary is fueling the politicization of medicine.

Emergency Abortion Care Under Threat in Idaho v. United States: The Medical Providers Perspective Past Event

Emergency Abortion Care Under Threat in Idaho v. United States: The Medical Providers Perspective

Join the Center for American Progress and physician storytellers from Idaho and other rural states to discuss how the criminalization of abortion care, the future of the Emergency Medical Treatment and Labor Act (EMTALA), and the interference of the U.S. Supreme Court in their daily medical practice has changed their personal and professional lives.

Monthly Medicare Drug Price Negotiation Savings by State Interactive
Farxiga, Xarelto, Entresto, and Eliquis are made available to customers at the New City Halsted Pharmacy in Chicago.

Monthly Medicare Drug Price Negotiation Savings by State

Medicare drug price negotiation will result in thousands of dollars in net price savings for 30-day supplies of the first 10 drugs undergoing negotiation; here’s how those savings add up state by state.

Nicole Rapfogel

The FDA’s Decisions on Mifepristone Have Advanced the Safety of Medication Abortion Article
A “combipack” of mifepristone and misoprostol pills is seen at a pharmacy.

The FDA’s Decisions on Mifepristone Have Advanced the Safety of Medication Abortion

The U.S. Supreme Court is preparing to hear Alliance for Hippocratic Medicine v. Food and Drug Administration, an unprecedented case on medication abortion that threatens to roll back years of scientific progress by undermining FDA decisions that have repeatedly affirmed and enhanced the safety of mifepristone.

Kierra B. Jones

How the Alabama IVF Ruling Is Connected to Upcoming Supreme Court Cases on Abortion Article
An in vitro fertilization (IVF) patient at the University of Alabama at Birmingham holds up a photo of her daughter.

How the Alabama IVF Ruling Is Connected to Upcoming Supreme Court Cases on Abortion

The conservative judges in the Alabama in vitro fertilization (IVF) ruling, Idaho v. United States, and Alliance for Hippocratic Medicine v. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) all issued decisions that seemingly supported their personal and political ideology over the rule of law, further fueling the politicization of medicine.

Sabrina Talukder

Executive Summary: How Federal Investments in Safe Drinking Water Infrastructure Are Improving Public Health Fact Sheet
Photo shows a hand holding a clear glass underneath a running faucet

Executive Summary: How Federal Investments in Safe Drinking Water Infrastructure Are Improving Public Health

This fact sheet summarizes a recent Center for American Progress report highlighting the use of federal investments from the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act to replace dangerous lead service lines and advance public health among vulnerable communities.

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